Archive for February 17th, 2012

Would you trust me as a surgeon?

Friday, February 17th, 2012 by Roberto Saracco

Actually, would you trust any friend of yours to perform surgery on you, knowing that would be his very first surgery and that he has no medical background?

I bet you won’t!

And yet, this is what the CAMDASS project is all about. Developing tools that would allow anybody (almost anybody) to perform surgery in case of emergency when no other option is viable. Such as in a interplanetary trip if a member of the spacecraft needs surgery. Coming back home would not be an option and Mars may be few months away…

And this is exactly what ESA, the European Space Agency that funded the research, has in mind.

The application, however, can be much more practical and down to Earth. It is easy to imagine that this system can be useful for remote areas as a telemedicine support. May be the surgery part may still leave you uneasy but the diagnostic part would be ok.

The person that “pretends” to be a doctor wears a special set of glasses and use a wand to inspect the body of the patient. The wand is a ultrasound probe whose signals are processed by a computer and whose result are sent to the glasses creating an overlapping image letting the person to see what the problem might be.

A library of images is used to see what the issue is and that can be further pushed to guide the “doctor” through the surgery.

Well, you really need to trust technology a lot to feel confident in being the patient.